We all love hearing ideas that will save us money, right? Unfortunately, this one is commonly misconceived. Here’s the download on ceiling fans. While it’s great to feel that cool air circulating on your skin, it’s likely not saving you very much on your energy bill.
THINGS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CEILING FANS
Ceiling fans do NOT cool the air; they cool your skin. You see, your air conditioner is designed to move cool air into – and hot air out of – your home to keep you at a comfortable temperature. A ceiling fan itself has no cooling mechanism. It wicks sweat from your skin to cool you down as it blows air on you rather than actually lowering the temperature of the room you’re in.
What exactly does that mean? Unless you are physically in the room while the fan is on, it’s not doing any good. If you’re not there to benefit from the ceiling fan’s air circulation, then you’re just using more electricity. If your air conditioner isn’t operating efficiently, then your ceiling fan isn’t doing it any favors.
This is where most people get into financial trouble. They turn on all the ceiling fans thinking that they’ll help the AC work more effectively and lower temperatures throughout their whole home, only to discover even higher bills once all that extra energy use is clocked. Fans have no effect on the efficiency of your AC!
Want to hear the solution to this common problem? It’s simple. If you want to benefit from the energy-saving potential of your ceiling fans without costing yourself more money, then be sure to start by turning fans off whenever the room is empty.
THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT THING TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CEILING FANS
Many homeowners don’t realize that they should actually raise their thermostat setting slightly when running their ceiling fans. With air blowing on your skin from your ceiling fans, you will feel physically cooler at any given temperature than you would at the exact same temperature without the fan blowing. That means, if you want to feel like the room is a comfy 72 degrees, you can – and should – raise the temperature on your thermostat to 77. That 5-degree difference will be virtually unnoticed by you – except when it comes time to pay your energy bill, and then you will see how much you saved by running your AC a little less.
THE BEST WAY TO USE YOUR CEILING FAN TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR ENERGY BILL
Try these two steps to get the most out of your AC and ceiling fan working in tandem:
Raise the temperature on your thermostat by about five degrees. You can even go up a bit more, as long as you’re still comfortable. The higher the temperature, the less your air conditioner runs and the more you save. That simple fact is the key to saving money – with or without a fan. The fan is just the part that makes those higher temperatures feel good – plus, it always feels good to save money, especially when you’re not sacrificing your comfort levels.
When you enter a room – and only when you enter a room – turn the ceiling fan on. Remember to turn it off again the moment you walk out. Old habits are sometimes hard to break. Just think of it like this: if you’re leaving a room, you usually turn off the lights to save energy, right? Just flip the fan switch off as well.